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Stranger in a Strange Land

Stranger in a Strange Land

by Robert A. Heinlein

Stranger in a Strange Land Chapter 30 Summary

  • Part 4, "His Scandalous Career," begins with another of those cosmic newsreel type openings. The legislation to make pi equal to 3 is deliciously odd.
  • Now we refocus on Jubal who is thinking about Mike and Jill. Mike has been busy and hasn't dropped by in a while, what with gallivanting into military service (before being discharged) and getting degrees in theology (which it is strongly implied were bought on the fast track).
  • Ben arrives at Jubal's home and asks for a private discussion.
  • Before the talk actually gets going, Ben makes a comment on one of Jubal's statues and evokes a mini, Jubal-flavored lesson on the difference between art and abstraction. It's great stuff, a must-read in the original Jubal.
  • Jubal complains that Duke has run off to be in Mike's church and between Miriam, Dorcas, and Anne, one is getting married and the other two are pregnant. 
  • The two briefly discuss possibilities of fatherhood—Jubal's "to each their own" policy means he hasn't the foggiest—and Ben gives good odds toward Mike.
  • Small talk dwindles down, and Ben gets to the purpose of his visit. He's visited Mike's church and doesn't seem too excited by what he saw.
  • Jubal and Ben discuss whether or not Mike's organization is truly a church. Ben says that it's more of a school for the Martian language, but Jubal argues that anything is a church as long the activities are done for the sake of worship. 
  • Well, either way, Ben believes that the setup is a racket. 
  • Ben is about to tell Jubal the story of his visit to Mike's church.

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